In as much as total fidelity is required in a marriage, being humans, we are not above mistakes. There may be a time when we may be subdued by the many temptations out there. There may also be situations when certain innocent friendships crosses the threshold of normalcy and assumes the semblance of an affair, while this may be innocent, a spouse reading an exchange of messages or eavesdropping on phone conversations with such friends will not be blamed if they assume there is an affair going on. Being caught cheating or in an uncompromising situation may not necessarily end a marriage, the way we react to the accusation is what matters.

A good number of people have had incidents in their marriages when they have been accused of infidelity, some were guilty as charged and others may have been innocent of the accusations, they may simply have been victims of circumstances which may point to infidelity. Whatever the case may be, how you handle these accusations will determine whether or not your marriage will continue peacefully or derail into the path of destruction. If you are innocent and have knowingly or unknowingly put yourself in an uncompromising situation, consider yourself guilty at that moment and avoid the need to vehemently defend yourself or get into a shouting match with yours spouse. This will certainly make matters worse and put your marriage in jeopardy.

The worst mistake you will make is to continue to deny and even quarrel with your accuser when you know you are either guilty of infidelity or being at the wrong place at the wrong time. You must understand that your spouse is not a mind reader, their accusation is based on what they have seen, read or heard. If you are exchanging amorous text messages, phone calls or emails with someone else, or have visited a friend of the opposite sex at home or in a hotel, you claim that nothing happened or not having sex will not be believed, your spouse is neither omnipresent nor omniscient, by what you have done, trust has taken flight in the marriage. It will be unfair to expect your spouse to believe you just because you said so. So you must be humble and apologise, even if it’s for putting yourself and your spouse in that position.

One thing the accused must consider is the weight of evidence against him/her, the information your spouse has tells you instantly whether or not they know what you have done. Even if you are innocent but the weight of evidence is against you, continuing to deny will be misconstrued as an insult to the intelligence of your spouse and will only aggravate matters and project you as an unrepentant serial cheater. It is always better to confess if you are guilty, go on your knees and ask for forgiveness. If on the other hand you are a victim of circumstance, you must apologise first and wait for when tempers are calm to make your case.

In as much as forgiveness may not come immediately, by apologising you would have succeeded in disarming your accuser and the healing process starts immediately for them. Your spouse may develop low self esteem so you must be ready for what follows after confession. Overtly suspicious, he/she will make snide remarks, insults and insinuations will certainly be the order of the day for the next few days, weeks or months depending on your spouse and how well you convince them that you are truly sorry. I know it can be very frustrating being accused wrongly, but if you know you have put yourself in that position, in the interest of peace, you must endure whatever he/she says or does while they heal and resist the temptation to argue. Your only response should be “I am sorry, it will never happen again” Being caught cheating condemns you to a period of meekness and good behaviour, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime – Sir Stanley Ekezie